Looking for ways to keep your battery in the best condition?  Here are a few tips on how batteries work in today's cellphone and laptop technology.

Gone are the days of having to fully charge and discharge your rechargeable batteries.  While today's batteries no longer have "memory," there are some factors that will help you get the longest (and safest) life.

Today's Li-Po or Li-Ion batteries have "life cycles" meaning they are measured in how many times they can be fully charged to 100% and then drained to 0%.  So if you have 500 life cycles to your battery and you use it fully charged down to 50%, then recharge it, you've used 1/2 of a cycle.

The Li-Po, or Lithium Polymer, batteries are the newest version of the Li-on (or Lithium Ion) battery.  Known for their longer life-span, longer charge, faster charging, smaller, lighter, and with greater amount of battery output, these batteries are a must in light-weight devices.

While they have many advantages, LiPo cells are affected by the same problems as other lithium-ion cells. This means that overcharge, over-discharge, over-temperature, short circuit, crush and nail penetration may all result in a catastrophic failure, including the pouch rupturing, the electrolyte leaking, and fire.

Apple iPhone 3GS's Lithium-ion battery, 

which has expanded due to a short circuit failure.

First Time Charge

When using your device for the first time, it's recommended to fully charge and discharge the device once.  Completely.  Keep it on so it will discharge (not plugged in).  Then you are set to use it and charge it how you wish.